Everything Lifestyle Opinion

How it used to be!

Was just chatting with a friend, sharing snippets of the bygone good old days, when suddenly I pondered upon an obvious self-enquiry.
How much have I changed?
Quickly logging in to Facebook and checking out your old photos proudly smirking, “Whoa! That’s what you call a change!”, boasting of your drastic transformation in external appearance; from that podgy-braided hair-invisible school entity to the style diva in college. Or that nerdy-timid-girl repellent who is now the latest fad amongst ladies… Well, that’s not the Change I am speaking of.
Have you ever just sit back and wondered how you are now? And how things used to be?
Ever tried to take a peek beyond these shallow whimsical ponderings?
Everyone will admit that childhood was a far better place to dwell in. Much less bullshit and much more happiness.
I still remember the number of family gatherings I used to be a part of as a child. No one had to get married or have a baby or sadly even, had to die to bring together the entire family. I think of the times when Winter was all about planning for a fun outdoor picnic or a short weekend trip with the whole bunch; when photographs were few but all priceless, capturing at least over a dozen unadulterated smiles in a single frame; Selfies were not there, but hearts were.
Now, whenever I am dodging questions like, “Why don’t you call?” with the typical “I was a bit busy” or being on the other end of the phone line, these memories seem too distant to correlate.
Now when I see my little nephews and nieces hooked on to their computers all day long, or playing games on their parents’ smartphones, I think about the days when fun for me and my cousins were running outdoors and playing Hide and Seek (most of today’s kids know this only as a delicious chocolate treat) , the blindfold chase, or simply playing pranks on each other; I do feel sorry for these poor kids. A nuclear family, a 1500 square feet luxurious flat, two career-obsessed parents, and Internet, does not really appeal as a pretty picture of childhood to me.
I miss those days when rain meant jumping onto puddles or feeling like Sindbad floating our tiny little paper boats, not a DSLR snapshot of how it looks from our balcony or the archetypal “Rainy Day” FB posts with famous quotes pilfered from the Internet.
I miss those long conversations we used to have on dinner tables, watching a movie together or most of the days the TV wasn’t even switched on. The silent dinners or more so, not sitting together for meals is quite common these days. We just got “busy”.
I look back to days when friendship was more about getting on each other’s nerves the whole time and still consider it our foremost duty to back each other selflessly in times of need; rather than frequent hangouts of wholesome fun and more frequent groupies and sharing and posting and tagging and poking and following and liking and commenting blah blah. Friendship, I feel, made much more meaning in a world devoid of Smartphones and Social Networking. Maybe I didn’t wave a voguish “Hi” to my friend or click a selfie every time we met, but an occasional pat on the back or a Hi5 used to make me feel blessed to have him/her in my life.
I miss those days when I read books, soaking in the brand new smell of paperbacks, not turn to the next page with a laid-back screen swipe. I miss those days of eagerly waiting for that children’s monthly, and how I skipped my breakfast and even lunch the day the newspaper vendor dropped it at our doorstep. It makes me sad to realize I have not stumbled upon such an unbound joy in years, even with the most expensive gifts.
As I put my first footsteps towards being an adult in a Social network-dominated time, I wonder how modern relationships would have been had Facebook or Whatsapp not been there to initiate or ruin it. A quick proposal, an instantly updated relationship status, a few months of the “best times”, and then everything falling apart as quickly as it began. The only similarity it has with the good old days that for a handful, it still hurts to have your heart ripped.
I miss those days when smartphones were not there to meddle with our inner sanctity, our inner emotions. I miss those days when the first thing to do seeing someone in distress was to help him out, not walk away to save our ass from hassles, or worse so, upload it and become a celebrity overnight. Now, a candlelight march is all we can do to protest for a gruesome rape instead of ensuring such things don’t happen again.
In fact, I was shocked to see people put up Earthquake posts or even Earthquake selfies when our very next neighbour Nepal was crumbling down like a House of Cards.
But you know, the problem is not all about growing up. Nor is it entirely about our changing lifestyles nor about our fast growing apathy towards the more valuable virtues of Life.
The root cause might be the slow poisoning of our inner moral values.
And there is nothing we can do about it unless we take some time out to delve into our inner selves and try to change. It won’t happen in a day, but your smallest efforts can make a huge difference.
Start from today. Give it a thought. Take care. 🙂


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